Flyers

Flyers sign prospect Linus Hogberg to entry-level contract

Flyers sign prospect Linus Hogberg to entry-level contract

One down, a few more to go?

The Flyers on Saturday signed prospect Linus Hogberg to an entry-level contract. The rights to Hogberg would have expired Monday if the Flyers didn't ink the 2016 fifth-round pick.

During 2019-20, Hogberg, a 21-year-old Swedish defenseman, had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through 50 games with the Vaxjo Lakers playing against men in the SHL. The 6-foot-1, 176-pounder is regarded as a strong skater and intelligent passer.

Hogberg will start the 2020-21 season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms are gaining on the blue line with prospects Egor Zamula and Wyatte Wylie turning pro, as well.

(Joe Siville/Philadelphia Flyers)

Lehigh Valley could be gaining more with Wyatt Kalynuk and David Bernhardt, who remain unsigned. Bernhardt, another Swedish defenseman, needs to be signed by Monday or his rights will expire. It's uncertain if the Flyers will ink the 2016 seventh-round pick.

It appears Kalynuk has decided to forgo his senior season at Wisconsin as he plans to turn pro in 2020-21.

Kalynuk is an offensive-minded defenseman who has developed a ton with the Badgers. His rights were set to expire next summer. Now that he is leaving Wisconsin, it would be surprising if he's not signed soon by the Flyers. If, for some reason, both sides don't agree to terms, Kalynuk can eventually become a free agent.

"Philly has had lots of people here and been very instrumental in his growth as a player," Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato said. "I think when they drafted him, they recognized out of the gate that this guy could be a big part of their organization moving forward. They’ve been hands on, they’ve been here a lot, they’ve done it respectfully in a way that they’ve helped him a ton in preparing to get ready for the next step.”

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Is Claude Giroux's playoff history telling of what's to come for the captain?

Is Claude Giroux's playoff history telling of what's to come for the captain?

As the NHL playoffs get closer and closer (which sounds weird to say during this time of year), the analysis of potential playoff matchups and the key factors for the Flyers is well underway. Regardless of the matchup, a few things are certain for the Flyers. One of those is that they need their captain to be on top of his game when the playoffs begin to have success.

Claude Giroux’s playoff history can best be described as a long and winding road. We’ve seen examples in all sports where young players reach the pinnacle of their sport early in their career and never getting back to that peak again. In the NFL, Dan Marino reached the Super Bowl in his rookie season and never made it back. In somewhat similar fashion, Giroux in his first full season in the NHL reached the Stanley Cup Final for a Flyers team with a leadership group that included Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Chris Pronger. Giroux was dynamic in those playoffs with 21 points in 23 games — that included 10 goals, 11 assists and an overtime winner in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The two years following that Cup Final run, Giroux continued to be a great player in the playoffs. In 2011, Giroux had 12 points in 11 playoff games. Then, in the 2012 playoffs, Giroux was perhaps his most dominant. Giroux had 17 points in 10 playoff games and was a force in the opening round against the Penguins. In Game 1 of that series, Giroux told his teammates, “Watch my first shift.” 

What his teammates saw was the captain put a huge hit on Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and then score a goal to give the Flyers the lead. They never looked back, dispatching their cross-state rival in six games. That playoff run ended with a 4-1 series loss to the Devils in the second round, a series in which Giroux was suspended a game after a hit on Dainus Zubrus in Game 4.

Since 2011-12, the playoffs haven’t been exactly kind to No. 28, with first-round losses in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In those years combined, in 19 playoff games, Giroux scored just three goals and registered only seven assists for a total of 10 points. In the Flyers' last playoff appearance against the Penguins in 2018, Giroux had a minus-10 rating in six games.

The past few seasons have been a little different for Giroux with moving to the wing, while still assuming some of the center’s defensive responsibilities at times. Could that change in position allow Giroux to be that dominant force on the offensive end again? Possibly. Of course, playing with Sean Couturier in the middle is never a bad thing and that’s likely where Giroux will find himself when this year’s playoffs begin and the captain looks to regain his early career offensive playoff magic.

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Philippe Myers

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Philippe Myers

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at Philippe Myers.

Destra

Normally an injury as severe as a fractured patella would cause a player to be out for a significant amount of time to recover. Luckily for Myers, he missed only a single game because just days after his injury, the NHL season was officially suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

This could be viewed as a silver lining — considering Myers will now be ready to roll come the round robin and playoffs that will follow. Before his injury, we were able to see significant growth in the 23-year-old’s game — which made the thought of losing him for the remainder of the regular season much more difficult. 

It took just under a month before Myers was called up to the big club to start his season with the Flyers, and it made for an interesting dynamic, given how busy things were at the blue line. The Flyers went from having a couple solid defensemen, to having too much talent from top to bottom … it’s a good problem to have. 

If Myers continues to control the reins instead of attempting to be too flashy, he’s in for a bright future in the NHL.

Myers gets a B for 2019-20 — and expectations are definitely high for next season. 

Fordyce 

I think when Myers first came up in the '18-19 season, he did some things that caused people to put the cart before the horse with this young defenseman. During this season, Myers had some really bright spots, but also would get into stretches when it seemed he couldn’t get out of his own way. 

Myers played 50 of the Flyers' 69 games. The key number that stands out when looking at Myers' season is that he was a plus-17, good for second on the team behind only Sean Couturier and the best in terms of defensemen on the Flyers. There are several factors that go into that rating and while it’s a great rating, Myers still has some work to do. He showed promise this season, and with even or better ratings in eight of his last 10 games, Myers’ future could be bright. 

B for Myers.

Hall

There was a lot of excitement about Myers entering the 2019-20 season and understandably so. The 23-year-old defenseman has an NHL build at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, he’s a fluid skater with offensive skill, he was ranked a top-50 prospect by the NHL Network the previous season and looked primed for a full-time impact.

While Myers had a so-so training camp and preseason, missing the team’s season-opening roster, he made it back to the big club and showed plenty of promise. With time, he started looking more comfortable and like a regular. The undrafted product recorded 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and a plus-17 rating in 50 games.

Myers has said he’s at his best when playing a composed game and not trying to do too much, which leads to his impressiveness offensively and making things happen. At times, he would press and be hard on himself, but that’s common for any young player who cares.

All in all, a solid B for Myers, who looks like a fixture on the team’s blue line.

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